Watching your child’s teeth come in can be an exciting time for parents. But, keeping all those teeth healthy can be more challenging than enjoyable. For knowing when to bring your youngster into the dentist and tips on how to keep your child’s teeth clean, read on:
When Should My Child First See a Dentist?
A child should first see a dentist when they have teeth, or by the age of one. When you do decide to take your child to a dentist, opt for a pediatric dentist or a dentist that also specializes in family care.
After your child’s first dental appointment, you should follow up care with regular dentists appointments. If you notice any of the following symptoms or problems with your child’s teeth, you should schedule a dentist appointment:
- Pocked, pitted or discolored teeth;
- Complaints from your child about tooth pain;
- Discolored or swollen gums;
- White spots on teeth;
- Unusually persistent bad breath;
- Sensitivity to touch or temperature; or
- If your child hasn’t been brushing regularly and/or frequently consumes sugary foods or beverages.
As your child ages, it’s likely that your dentist will also suggest that your child sees an orthodontist for further oral care and assessment.
How Do I Prevent My Child From Getting Cavities?
Oral health is all about prevention. Therefore, keeping your child’s mouth healthy can be as simple as scheduling regular dentist checkups, brushing three times a day, and flossing.
For infants or toddlers who are too young to use toothpaste, you should wipe down the gums and teeth of your child with a wet cloth after feeding. Tooth decay and rot can be caused from the milk that your child drinks. If your child has teeth, choosing a toothpaste with fluoride and that is kid-friendly is an important part of establishing a healthy brushing routine.
You can also ask your dentist about other prevention techniques, such as applying a sealant or resin to teeth to help prevent against cavities, particularly in molars.
As a parent, it is also your responsibility to monitor the consumption of foods and drinks that are high in sugar. Sugar is the main culprit of tooth decay. Preventing tooth decay by watching the levels of sugar that your child eats can help save painful, expensive, and inconvenient oral care expenditures in the future.
How Do I Promote Oral Hygiene at Home?
Going to the dentist can often by a scary experience for children, especially when they’re very young. Make dentist visits seem more exciting by following up the dentist’s office with a special treat, like a trip to a restaurant or toy store. To promote healthy habits while at home and to make brushing more fun, let your child pick out their own toothbrush and have rewards or incentives that are associated with regular brushing.
Remember, the earlier you start enforcing good habits and the earlier you introduce dental care into your child’s life, the easier it will be for your child to implement and continue habits on their own. If your child is approaching the age of one and hasn’t yet seen a dentist, or if they are experiencing any of the oral complications listed above, schedule an appointment immediately.